Notes for Huron-Erie county farmers

Register
Dec 10, 2013
MARKETING ASSISTANCE LOANS
A Marketing Assistance Loan is available for producers who share in the risk of producing the crop.

To be eligible, a producer must maintain continual beneficial interest in the crop from harvest through the earlier of the date the loan is repaid or CCC takes title to the commodity. Beneficial interest means retaining the ability to make decisions about the commodity, responsibility for loss or damage to the commodity and title to the commodity.

Once beneficial interest in a commodity is lost, the commodity is ineligible for loan — even if the producer regains beneficial interest.

Commodity loan eligibility also requires compliance with conservation and wetland protection requirements, beneficial interest requirements, acreage reporting and ensuring the commodity meets Commodity Credit Corporation minimum grade and quality standards. For commodities to be eligible they must have been produced by an eligible producer, be in existence and in a storable condition and be merchantable for food, feed or other uses as determined by CCC.

The quality of the commodity in farm storage must be maintained throughout the term of the loan. Violating provisions of a marketing assistance loan may trigger administrative actions, such as assessing liquidated damages, calling the loan and denial of future farm-stored loans. The most common violations are removing or disposing of a commodity being used as loan collateral without prior authorization and providing an incorrect quantity certification. Producers should be aware that due to sequestration, 2013 loan amounts will be reduced by 5.1 percent. For more information about the MAL, contact the Huron/Erie County FSA office.

FARM RECONSTITUTIONS
When changes in farm ownership or operation take place, a farm reconstitution is necessary.

The recon is the process of combining or dividing farms or tracts of land based on the farming operation. The following are the different methods used when doing a farm recon. Remember, to be effective for the current year, recons must be requested by Aug. 1 for farms enrolled in the Direct and Counter-Cyclical Program.

• Estate Method — The division of bases, allotments and quotas for a parent farm among heirs in settling an estate

• Designation of Landowner Method — May be used when (1) part of a farm is sold or ownership is transferred; (2) an entire farm is sold to two or more persons; (3) farm ownership is transferred to two or more persons; (4) part of a tract is sold or ownership is transferred; (5) a tract is sold to two or more persons; or (6) tract ownership is transferred to two or more persons. In order to use this method the land sold must have been owned for at least three years, or a waiver granted, and the buyer and seller must sign a Memorandum of Understanding

• DCP Cropland Method — The division of bases in the same proportion that the DCP cropland for each resulting tract relates to the DCP cropland on the parent tract

• Default Method — The division of bases for a parent farm with each tract maintaining the bases attributed to the tract level when the reconstitution is initiated in the system

 If DCP direct payments have already been issued on a particular farm, the reconstitution will be effective for the next year, unless the payments are refunded.

POWER OF ATTORNEY
FSA has a required power of attorney form available for those who find it difficult to visit the county office personally because of work schedules, distance, health, etc.

The form enables the participant to designate another person to conduct his or her business at the office. This can be done by completing an FSA-211, Power of Attorney. The form is available at your local FSA office or online.

The FSA-211 form obtained and completed outside the USDA Service Centers offices must be notarized. Producers are reminded the FSA POA is only recognized by our office and cannot be used to conduct business on your behalf outside of our office. To find out more, call the office.

APPEAL PROCESS
After an FSA official makes a decision on your request for USDA services or application, you will be sent a letter informing you of the decision and options you can pursue if you disagree. Generally, program participants have three choices:

• Informal review with the original agency decision-maker

• Opportunity for mediation

• Appeal to the next level of authority within the agency.

This process applies to all appealable issues. In some cases, an issue is not appealable. In such situations producers have the right to appeal the unappealablity of the issue. For more information on appeals, contact your local FSA Office.

FARM LOAN YEAR END REVIEWS
Producers who have a farm loan with FSA are reminded they must provide data for their Year-End Analysis to their loan officer each year. Borrowers are urged to provide this information timely so their files can be maintained. The office will contact you for the data you will need to provide us.

CERTIFICATION DEADLINE
December has arrived. The deadline to certify your wheat and other small grains is rapidly approaching. Beginning this year, all small grains planted in 2013 for harvest in 2014 must be certified by Dec. 15.

For 2013, the final date will be Dec. 16 due to Dec. 15 falling on a Sunday.

Don’t delay.

Call the Huron/Erie FSA and certify your small grains today.